- Posted October 17, 2013 by
Plastic Found in Beef While Being Served at Nebraska School
Plastic Found in Beef While Being Served at Thayer Central
HEBRON, Neb. - A small piece of plastic was discovered in beef as it was being served to students at Thayer Central Schools on Tuesday, Oct. 15.
“There was a small shard of plastic that was found,” Thayer Central Schools Superintendent Drew Harris said. “One of the kitchen servers discovered it while she was dishing food up.”
Harris said the serving of the beef was immediately halted and sandwiches were quickly assembled and served to students.
“We have been working with our vendors to identify where this came from. We obviously checked all of our equipment to make sure that there wasn’t anything that was broken and potentially got into the food that way. We sent a note home with students that day indicating what had happened,” Harris said.
The Superintendent added that school district staff also contacted local physicians to get information about symptoms that parents might watch out for if their children had swallowed any plastic in the beef before it was discovered.
“We also talked to students, third grade and above, about the situation so they were aware. We asked if they encountered anything that seemed crunchy or might have been in their food. Obviously, we went through the remaining beef that was not served and found no other indication. None of the students that we talked to indicated they had encountered anything in their food,” Harris said adding that no parents have reported their children suffering any of the symptoms that might appear if they ingested plastic.
“In visiting with a physician, typically within 48 hours, you should be all clear as far as complications arising from that point,” Harris said.
The supplier or manufacturer of the suspected beef has not been released as authorities inside the school district and the Nebraska Department of Education Commodities Department are trying to track down that information.
“We are trying to get this out to the distributors. We contacted our state department, the food service department within the Nebraska Department of Education,” Harris said.
The Nebraska Department of Education issued a recall notice to schools in the state about ground beef distributed in the National School Lunch Program that was suspect of containing plastic on Oct. 1.
Susan Dishman, Thayer Central Food Service Manager, said the food that the plastic shard was discovered in was not ground beef, despite the recall.
“We are not going to release who the vendor was or the brand of the product,” Dishman said. “All I can tell you is that it was reported to Health and Human Services. It was reported to Nutrition Services. That is the only thing I can tell you. We did have no incidents whatsoever with the situation.
Dishman refused to say even what kind of beef product the plastic was found in.
“You need to talk to my superintendent about this and I am not at liberty to say anything else. We are not going to implicate any of our vendors. It was a little mishap. There were no injuries involved and all procedures were followed as they were supposed to have been followed,” Dishman said.
Superintendent Harris told the Omaha World-Herald servers were about a third of the way through serving a lunch of Philly steak sandwiches Tuesday when one server found the piece of plastic, which was less than a quarter of an inch long and very narrow.
About 100 students already had been served. Kitchen staff quickly switched to sandwiches and served the rest of the students.
According to the Oct. 1 ground beef recall, “Central Valley Meat Company, a Hanford, Calif. establishment, is recalling approximately 89,720 pounds of ground beef that may contain small pieces of plastic.”
The recall had nothing to do with the incident that occurred at Thayer Central as the school district did not receive any of the ground beef, according to the Nebraska Department of Education.